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Goleta to Buy City Hall

Purchase in the Wings for $11.47 Million Property

Goleta may soon purchase its own City Hall. In late 2018, agents for the owner, Jeff Bermant’s development company, asked the city if it wanted to buy 130 Cremona Drive, which contains about half of the city’s offices, including the council chambers. (The other half are at 120 Cremona Drive, which was not for sale, and a lot split is required.) The council voted on Tuesday to apply to IBank for about $10 million to finance the $11,476,770 property.

The IBank is the state’s Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank, which is providing a 30-year loan at 3.52 percent, at the last quote, and issuing bonds on Goleta’s behalf to finance the purchase. The annual mortgage and maintenance costs would be about $700,000, a savings of roughly $50,000 every year compared to rent, explained Luke Rioux, the city’s finance director. Between the escrow deposit and existing funds from the Sheriff Facility Development Impact Fee, a remainder of $9.9 million remains to be financed, Rioux stated.

At Councilmember Kyle Richards’ suggestion, the Finance Committee will consider the various cost differences of taking some of the city budget’s “unassigned general fund” — which contains $8 million — to further reduce the amount borrowed. Richards noted, “For every $1 million less that we borrow, our annual expenses will decrease by about $50,000.” The committee’s next meeting takes place in October, and a recommendation will come back to the council.

Correction: The $700,000 in mortgage payments is an annual, not monthly, calculation. The city later clarified financing is required on just under $10 million, not $9.5 million.

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